Women's Committee

Women's Committee logoOur Mission and Vision

The Women's Committee promotes and educates on all issues affecting women members, encourages women to participate more fully in union activities, and advocates and assists women in SGEU in achieving and maintaining their rights.

Many issues continue to impact and affect women, including wage discrimination, sexual harassment and violence, as well as the childcare crisis.

The Women's Committee shall*:

  • Promote and educate on all issues affecting women members in their union, work, home and community lives.
  • Encourage women to participate more fully in union activities.
  • Liaise with other women's organizations locally, to offer necessary assistance to them and to promote women's trade union issues in those organizations.
  • Provide advocacy and assistance to women in SGEU, in achieving and maintaining their rights.
  • Send the chair or designate from the SGEU Women's Committee to the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) Women's Committee meetings. This member is required to report back, this should be reflected in the meeting minutes.

*As outlined in the Article 6.10.15 in the SGEU Constitution

Bread & Roses Awards

Each year, the SGEU Women's Committee presents the Bread & Roses Awards to recognize and celebrate the work of women activists in our union.

The phrase 'bread and roses' comes from a speech by suffragist and workers' rights activist Helen Todd in the early 1900s. In her speech, Helen called for "bread for all, and roses too," meaning that workers deserve not only fair wages, but dignified working conditions.

2023 Recipients

Congratulations to the 2023 Bread & Roses Award recipients! Thank you for everything you do to move our union forward!

  • Darlene Purshega
  • Whitney Kujansuu
  • Theresa Evans
  • Patricia Taillon
  • Lorry Sinclair
  • Deb Zawada-Wiebe
  • Whitney Hodgson



Know a woman who is making a difference in our union? Nominate her for a 2024 Bread and Roses Award! Fill out the nomination form.

Interested in viewing past Bread & Roses Award recipients? Take a look at our list of these incredible women!

Women Taking Action Online Workshop Series

Early in 2021 due to the pandemic, all our regular events were cancelled. The pressure on everyone was intense. To provide members a way of connecting, encourage learning, promoting self-care and sharing resources – we developed an online series of events called Women Taking Action. These 90-minute free events are available to everyone.

Prairie School for Union Women (PSUW)

PSUW is generally an annual four-day summer program hosted by the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) to develop women’s personal and leadership skills, building solidarity among women workers. Each year, the SGEU Women's Committee requests budget to sponsor 4-6 women to attend the event. Applications open in March of each year.

Sisters in Spirit

Annually and typically held in October, the Women's committee recognizes the national vigil to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirited individuals (MMIWG2S). This image was taken at the event by a committee member and won a Canadian Association of Labour Media award.

Sisters in Spirit candle light vigil.

If Sisters In Spirit or other MMIWG2S events are taking place in your community, let us know – we’d be pleased to consider offering support.

Two figurines. In between them, text says, 'Silent Witness'.

Silent Witness Project

Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of spousal homicides among Canadian provinces - 8.4 spouses per million are killed in Saskatchewan each year compared to the national average of 4.8 per million.

For the SGEU Silent Witness project the silhouettes are a symbolic representation of women killed by partners. Red silhouettes were created without faces to draw attention to those women who are no longer with us and stand in silence waiting to be recognized.

This project was created to promote action by profiling local resources that support women coping with violence in their lives and encouraging community and government action with the focus to end all forms of violence in society.

Intent is to bring attention to a serious concern by taking it from the shadows and bringing it to the forefront.

The silhouettes may be available for your event in Saskatchewan. Please contact womenscommittee@sgeu.org to discuss.

The Canadian guide for the project is maintained in Nova Scotia and is available here: http://www.silentwitness.ca/uploads/pdf/canadian-guide-e.pdf

If you are experiencing domestic violence or are concerned about your safety, call 211 for information about safe shelters in your community or visit the PATHS website for agencies’ contact information. https://pathssk.org/get-help-now/

Annual Sponsorship

Annually based on the calendar year, the Women’s Committee selects a Saskatchewan not-for-profit that supports women and/or women’s issues to be the recipient of fundraising efforts.

Our 2022 fundraising recipient is the Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan (AFCS) with funds earmarked for Honouring Her Spark project. This project focuses on improving the economic landscape for Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQ+ individuals while empowering our sacred people through the first Indigenous Women’s Economic Framework in Canada. Learn more about the Honouring Her Spark initiative.

Past fundraising recipients have included various YWCAs (2021), Yorkton Shelwin House (2020), Moose Jaw Transition House (2019), Regina Food Bank (2018), Prince Albert Transition House (2017), Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services (2016).

Want to get more involved in Women’s Committee activities?

The Women’s Committee participates, hosts or sponsors a number of annual activities. As an SGEU member, your participation is encouraged! If you have an event supporting women’s issues in your Saskatchewan community, let us know!

Email us at womenscommittee@sgeu.org to become involved or share info with us. View upcoming events and workshops on the SGEU calendar.

A headshot of Tanya Turner
Tanya Turner, Women's
Committee Chair


"Our province needs to continue addressing women's issues such as period poverty, interpersonal violence, access to reproductive services and pay equity legislation.

As part of this standing committee, I want to help create change. I want to bring awareness to members. I encourage all women members and allies to get involved."

—Tanya Turner, Women's Committee Chair




Women's Committee Members

Our membership is comprised of an elected member from each SGEU sector, as well as an elected member from the Human Rights and Equity (HRE) standing committee.

Committee Members Alternate Members Sector
Tanya Turner - Chair Lisa Courtoreille (Pedersen) Education
Theresa Evans - Vice-chair Trenna Bailey Health
Maryam Masoomi Dalya Askar Community Services
Melinda Squires Geraldine Trodd Crown
Muna De Ciman Cindy Carbno Public Service
Shawna Doucette  Tamara Bailey Human Rights & Equity